The waterfront city of Shingu is nestled where the Shingu River meets the North Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by towering mountains. Shingu is considered the gateway to the revered Kumano area, while the city centre is filled with tranquil waterways, religious shrines and international restaurants.
Things to do in Shingū
Are you interested in the local traditions? Visit the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, a World Heritage-listed Shinto shrine and part of the pilgrimage route, Kumano Sankeimichi. The nearby Sato Haruo Memorial Museum commemorates the famous Japanese author by displaying his personal belongings and writings in a humble home.
Those who enjoy getting out among nature should venture inland to the cascading Kuwanokino Falls, which is reached by walking along relatively unpopulated paths. The surrounding mountains also offer their fair share of nature and adventure, such as mountaineering up the 1,122-metre-high Mount Oto or seeing Japan’s tallest uninterrupted drop waterfall at Mount Nachi.
If you’re hanging around the centre of Shingu, take advantage of the numerous international and local dining options, such as French, Japanese, American and izakaya restaurants. Walk off all that delicious food with a stroll through the riverfront Tankakujo Park, home to a number of historical landmarks.
Animal lovers should venture up to Shichirimihama Park just a short train ride away to see the protected turtles. Slightly north of this is Plage de Shichirimi, where you can kick back on a picturesque beach with calm waves. Don’t forget to take a leisurely cruise down the Doro-kyo Gorge, which transports you past dramatic cliffs, giant boulders and verdant forest.
Getting around Shingū
Shingu is about 200 kilometres from Kansai International Airport, with regular trains running between the city and airport. You can walk around the centre of the city, but it’s best to hire a vehicle or organise a tour if you want to explore the surrounding region.